Prosecutor: No charges for St. Paul officer in 2019 shooting

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota prosecutor announced Thursday that he won't bring charges against a St. Paul police officer who shot and killed a man who rear-ended his squad car and then charged him with a knife.

Officer Steven Mattson was justified in using deadly force against Ronald Davis, 31, on Sept. 15 in the city's Midway neighbourhood, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi wrote. The death of Davis, who was black, led to a demonstration a week later by several dozen protesters calling for an end to police shootings.

Choi wrote that Mattson's body-camera video "on its face" supported a finding of justifiable deadly force. His finding came after an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Police released the footage two weeks after the shooting that corroborated their initial account of events, with Mattson's chest-mounted camera showing his vehicle lurch after impact. As Mattson got out, the footage showed Davis running into view. Mattson can be heard shouting, "Whoa! Whoa!" and "Get away from me! Drop the knife!"

Freeze-frames showed Davis holding a flashlight in his left hand and the knife in his right. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension earlier said Davis was holding a knife when he was shot, and a knife was recovered near his body.

An autopsy found amphetamine, methamphetamine and THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana, in Davis' system.

Mattson, who is white, joined the department as a trainee in August 2018 and was promoted to officer the following December.

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